Author Topic: Whereabouts

Whereabouts
« on: May 10, 2022 »
by Lazlo Shunt


   I believe it was young Stevie Morrissey who once piped up with the immortal slovos 'Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you want to', which is all well and good if you're laying down an idealistic indie pop track but he never actually confirmed whether he had either the skill or the dedication to complete Tetris on the hardest setting. I doubt he'd be able to wax it mate. Like, zero amount of Oscar Wilde quotes can prep you for that delicious feeling of terror/panic when you get your third L in a row but there's only space for a T. It's a world of hurt that very few people will ever understand. After all, how would you begin to explain the Tunguska event to a goldfish, sell a Casio to a Kalashnikov, or try to lay out the sequence of woeful political and economic decisions that led to the infamous Chernobyl meltdown to a hyacinth. You dig?

Now then, back when I used to slam the amphet full time I briefly dated an American girl called Dana Wilcox who was, at the time that I knew her, real-prepping to enter herself into the Tetris World Championships in St Petersburg. She would spend proper loads of hours with her Mary six inches from a flatscreen TV, hardwired to a vintage NES console, rolling her minces and chainsmoking gaspers as she manipulated (or should that be womanipulated) The Blocks like some kind of bleach blonde Johan Cruyff. When her hands could no longer grip the small rectangular controller we would roam the various bookshops of Soho together and she would drop lyrical about The Logic Of The Blocks and how they had changed the way she saw the world. I've never known anyone who could smoke as many snouts in sequence the way that Dana could. In fact, whenever I see an ashtray I am reminded of our time together.

She flew back to LA shortly after I told her ABBA were the greatest pop group of all time, complaining in her laconic California drawl that 'The only good commie is a dead commie' and that if I was ever stateside that I should absolutely not make even the slightest effort to link her. Seemed fair at the time, really. A couple of King Lear's later she popped up in a proper doc-film (The Ecstasy Of Order - 2011) about The Great Game and I realised that Billy Joel was right. We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning. Just think about that for a moment, or don't. It's up to you. As people who want to be heard often say, it's a three country. Maybe one day I'll figure out what this means.

It was only much later, while I was watching The Passion of Joan of Arc, that under no circumstances should you ever lend lids to a man with a sense of humour. But that was Dana, you know? Some of us are born heavy, other have heaviness bestowed upon them. With this in mind, I am brought back once again to the words spoken by Paul Tibbets as he aimed his gleaming B-29 into the great blue yonder on that fateful August morning and announced in a voice like Nesquik that 'A foreign city is simply a collection of damn fool buildings that needs to be flattened as quickly as god damn possible.' Make of that what you will, but my sister Tanqueray's first husband once told me that 'If you trust a man who named his plane after his mother you need to take a good long look in the mirror.' I couldn't share this knowledge with Dana as by this point she was long gone, and being an American would have pronounced the word 'mirror' like 'mere', which I would not vote for even if it was offering free Gameboys to every child on this sweet green earth we call Earth. Right?

And that was really all I wanted to say on the matter. But I guess the real lesson here is that you should never back down and that you've got the music in you. Did Dana have the music in her? 100% yes. Could she have smoked less gaspers? Maybe. What did she teach me? Not much. What did I learn? More than you could possibly imagine.